It had been a long road in recovery for Avalanche defenseman Ryan Wilson.

After missing the first four games of the season with a knee injury he suffered in training camp, Wilson was 10 games into his 2013-14 campaign when the injury bug struck again. The d-man injured his back Nov. 6 against Nashville on what appeared to be a normal hit along the boards.

Wilson missed the next 22 games with the injury and had been working almost every day on his conditioning the past few weeks to get back into game shape.

"I've been working hard on the ice and off the ice," Wilson said last week before the team went on the road for two games in California. "I thought a couple of games ago I was going to be back. It's been tough because you think you're ready, meanwhile you're not fully ready to come back."